In 1991, the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the then OAU instituted the DAC in memory of the 16th June 1976 student uprising in Soweto, South Africa. At that time, students marched in protest against the poor quality of education they received and demanded to be taught in their languages. The AU adopted the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child to ensure institutional, legal and policy efforts at child well being are mainstreamed and fast tracked.
The theme for the Day of the African Child (DAC) 2021 is “30 years after the adoption of the Charter: Accelerate implementation of Agenda 2040 for an Africa fit for children”. WVU leverage on the celebrations to mobilize partners and duty bearers towards the realisation of the rights of children from the family/community level and up to national through its various structures (Area Programmes, Clusters, Regional offices, National Office.
Children’s rights to safety and protection as outlined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action are threatened by the COVID19 pandemic and this may not only reflect negatively on the realization of the SDGs agenda but also culminate into actually a reversal of the gains registered and a barrier to the implementation of interventions. In a 2020 World Vision study titled “ACT Now: Experiences and Recommendations of Boys and Girls in East Africa on the Impact of COVID19”, children revealed how COVID19 has affected their lives citing school disruptions, economic hardship, food insecurity, mental health challenges, missing community worship, and an increased risk for violence against children and young people. Of great concern has been the limited and/or lack of integration of critical child wellbeing concerns in the recovery plans and policies including the national budget. The situation has been made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres indicating fears that COVID-19 was turning into a “broader child rights” crisis.
This year’s commemoration coincides with the process of developing an alternative report on the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC)-a process being led by UCRNN. The commemoration provide an opportune moment for stakeholders to deeply reflect on the contribution made towards the realization of the aspirations set out in the charter including related national laws and policies